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Tips for a Hopeful Bass Fisher

Lake Champlain’s bass season opens the second Saturday of June and runs through late fall. The lake is popular for its summer tournaments. The fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, lay dormant underneath the icy crust that covers the lake over the winter season. The key to knowing when bass fishing starts? Blooming flowers and falling leaves. The best time to go fishing? The season’s first week. At least according to Captain Howard Hammond, a local tour guide. After all, the central south region of Lake Champlain is known in the United States as Bass Country. In this wide and…

Lake Champlain’s bass season opens the second Saturday of June and runs through late fall. The lake is popular for its summer tournaments. The fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, lay dormant underneath the icy crust that covers the lake over the winter season. The key to knowing when bass fishing starts? Blooming flowers and falling leaves. The best time to go fishing? The season’s first week. At least according to Captain Howard Hammond, a local tour guide.

After all, the central south region of Lake Champlain is known in the United States as Bass Country. In this wide and long lake dotted with 23 tiny islands, there are dense weed beds and rocky drop-offs where bass thrive.

Hammond provides some tips for where to find these Lake Champlain bass:

  1. Know what you are looking for. Lake Champlain fishing spots break down into three different types: smallmouth bass fishery, largemouth bass fishery, and largemouth and smallmouth fishery. Hammond has been marking down areas to fish for certain types of bass. He advises fishers to scout out places where there are “shallow flats or shoals with boulder rocks and a clean, hard bottom.” These areas are typically isolated and fluctuate between 25 to 50 meters.
  2. Smallmouth bass is Lake Champlain’s premier game. They usually come out in May and stay until November. They flourish in rocky shoals, cribbings, a piled up structure creating a barrier, and points along the shore. Keeler Bay Access Area in Vermont allows fishers to reach a flat near Savage Island that is “perfect for catching smallmouth in mid-summer.” The launch isn’t suitable for larger boats during the mid-summer low water conditions. Another popular spot is Horseshoe Reef near North Hero, one of the many islands in Lake Champlain.  The closest way to Horseshoe Reef is the Holcomb Bay Access Area that leads to a single lane concrete ramp.
  3. The largemouth bass fish are more concentrated more on the lower half of Lake Champlain. These fish are usually found in large weed beds and places where they are confided. For the most part, milfoil and other types of aquatic vegetation define the fishing here. Another area the largemouth bass is found in is Large Weed Bed, a fishing spot south of the Larabee’s Point Access Area in Vermont. It provides a huge expanse of largemouth habitat. The weed beds make it a prime habitat for the bass.

So grab a rod and a hook, head to Lake Champlain and discover Bass Country.

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